Driverless cars could be vulnerable to mass hacking, warns expert

Driverless cars could be vulnerable to being hacked en masse, according to an expert.

Autonomous vehicles could be a target for hackers, says Matthew Channon, an expert on driverless cars from Exeter University, because of the connectivity they rely on for updates and to read road and weather conditions.

He has warned MPs about the potential threat as part of his written evidence to Parliament as it considers the Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill.

(Olivier Le Moal/Getty Images)

“A major issue that has not been introduced in the Bill is in relation to mass risk,” he wrote in his letter.

“Particularly if more than one vehicle is hacked at the same time and damage is caused, there is a real risk of this happening and this is a real target due to the connected nature of these vehicles.”

Fully autonomous cars could be on Britain’s roads by 2021, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said last week.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling in a semi-autonomous Tesla S (Philip Toscano/PA)

It is thought that such vehicles will reduce the number of accidents and make roads safer by removing human error.

In the US, Google’s self-driving car company Waymo has removed the backup driver from its autonomous vehicles.

Waymo is testing autonomous vehicles on public roads – but no longer has a human driver poised to take over (Paul Sancya/AP)

Previous test drives had a human driver at the steering wheel to take over if necessary. From October, Waymo began testing on public roads with an employee in the back seat.

It is using a Chrysler Pacifica minivan in its testing.


More in this Section

Amazon’s checkout-free grocery store opens to the public for the first time

Make a 360-degree video of your day with this camera you wear around your neck

Watch a drone rescue two swimmers struggling in rough seas

A new virtual roommate device simulates a busy home to help prevent burglary


Today's Stories

Councils to fall short of social housing target

Maurice McCabe ‘felt under threat’

PAC critical of decision to reopen garda station

Mortgage initiative ‘could push prices up’

Lifestyle

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner